Every few months or so an article makes the rounds claiming that people in Los Angeles are the least well-read of any city in the United States, the implication being that we Angelenos don’t have a cultural bone in our allegedly spray-tanned, plastic-surgeried bodies. (One local bookstore even has a Who Says People in LA Don’t Read? T-shirt.) Having lived here off and on for about six years now, I know for certain that this simply isn’t the case. Sure, we’re the home of reality television and blockbuster films. And, yes, there are people here who dote on their purse-sized pooches and live for a weekly mani/pedi, but I don’t know any of them. From world class museums to lectures and independent bookstores, there are plenty of places for locals and visitors to get their cultural fix. Here are my favorites:
The Museum of Jurassic Technology
If a Victorian scientist had a two-story cabinet of curiosities, it would look like this.
The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens
Go for the art (including portraits by Sargent and Gainsborough), stay for the library’s collection of rare books, including the Ellesmere manuscript of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales.
My neighborhood bookstore hosts an astounding number of free author events and has a bonus annex just for art books.
Small World Books
Tucked away on the Venice Beach Boardwalk of all places, Small World has a great selection of fiction, non-fiction, and mystery titles.
Zócalo Public Square
Great thinkers of all stripes and areas of expertise give lectures at Zócalo’s roving speaker series.
The L.A. Public Library’s ALOUD Series
From Jonathan Lethem to Joan Didion, the best and brightest authors talk about their works.
Tags: art, lectures, libraries, Los Angeles, Museum of Jurassic technology, museums, skylight books, Zocalo Public Square